Lord, they say it takes three weeks to make a habit.
In other places, they say two weeks, or a month, but you get my drift.
I am a creature of habit. I like routine, predictability, planning. If something comes at me from the side, unexpectedly, I fibrillate until I can get myself back into my groove. I think, I write lists, I plan. I timetable. I want to get it right. Perfectionism? Control Freakery? Possibly.
I am meeting with you in the mornings. I've been talking about it for a long long time and flatly refused to make the effort on more than one occasion. I've felt convicted to set up a morning time with you and I've ignored the feeling. Me? Get up earlier? Yeah, right. But I have started setting the alarm a bit earlier - not much, but a bit - and pressing snooze a bit less.
Last week when I needed to get up earlier for a school trip I set my alarm the corresponding bit earlier to include you too. I don't want congratulations (though if you feel like smiling, I'd like that). I am enjoying it. I've noticed that my day goes better when I do this. I am nicer to the children (and since I am most definitely not a morning person, every little helps) and I feel more stable as I go into the day. Calmer. I can tell a definite difference when my morning check-in gets cancelled or eroded. This is a Good Thing.
The penny has finally dropped.
Thankyou, Lord. So I want to ask for your help, because despite my love of the routine, my track record at maintaining long-term plans is not very good. I've lost lots of weight three times in my life and three times has it found me again. I've started exercise regimes that include three hours of swimming a week, kept it up for a year - note way past the three-week-habit mark - and then stopped. In the past half-term I was cheerfully walking Elizabeth to school every morning, enjoying the chats, the scenery, the fresh air and the Good For Me feeling, and then suddenly the weather worsens, the routine changes, a meteorite hits and I am nipping her there in the car.
I can't seem to make a new habit part of my life. I can keep it up for quite a while (alright, not the school-morning jog) but completely assimilating it seems beyond me. I don't want it to happen this time. I want this to be a keeper. So help me.
I know that I need you in my head before anyone or anything has a chance to settle down in there.
I know that the first thing to get into my mind in a morning sort of sets the scene. Not that anything's irreversible, but I know the value of the Word of the Lord in my head as opposed to a quick check on Facebook (risky; who knows what I might find) or (far worse) a check of the day's news headlines (chance of a positive start to the day after that? Nil.)
Make this a habit that lasts a lifetime.
You know, early morning isn't always bad, and that's been a bit of a revelation to me. I've seen some sunrises that I'd have missed if I'd gone for the snooze button just one more time, let alone four more times. I've relished the quiet of the house before the explosive arrival of my daughters on more than one occasion and even with my sleep-bleary eyes I can smile a little smile that they are still asleep and I am awake. One day I might try and creep downstairs for a coffee to make my early morning snuggle with you just complete, but I risk waking them up and so that's just too much to hope for at the moment.
But back the point. Wanted to thank you.
For not giving up on me and for giving me the gift of a new discovery after all these years of thinking that I knew best.
I don't, you know. You do.
So I have my journal, and my little book of devotions, and when the wifi works I have some email thoughts for the day.
Most mornings, however, I find that I write, 'Morning, Lord' and then I pause. I just like being with you. I run my day through my mind and ask that you come with me in the things that I have to do. I read your word and sometimes you read it to me. Sometimes I write loads, sometimes barely anything after, 'Morning, Lord' but you never let me down.
You are always there waiting.
And I'm always glad that I came.
This is taken from my blog: http://hmarewenearlythereyet.blogspot.com
Visitors most welcome.
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